The National Public Toilet Map
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Frequently Asked Questions
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We have produced this page as a quick way of answering some commonly asked questions about the National Public Toilet Map Web site. If your question is not answered here or elsewhere on the site, please contact us.
- What are points of interest?
- What do all the symbols mean?
- Some of the toilet counts do not add up. Why?
- How can I use the Toilet Map with my Global Positioning System (GPS) device?
- Who do I contact if I have a problem with a toilet?
- How does finding a toilet open at a particular time work?
- What is an MLAK key?
- Why do opening hours for toilets vary during the year?
- Can I get a printed copy of the Toilet Map information?
- Is there any way to search for features such as showers or baby change facilities?
- Is there any way to directly link to the toilets contained within The National Public Toilet Map?
1. What are points of interest?
A Point of Interest is a location with a particular feature which you would be able to find on a regular map.
You can find toilets near points of interest, including:
- Historical Sites
2. What do all the symbols mean?
Symbols are used on the site to make the site easier to use for people who have a first language other than English.
Our symbols page explains the different types of symbols used on the site, including those that appear in maps.
3. Some of the toilet counts do not add up. Why?
This usually happens because some towns and suburbs belong to more than one local government area, so their toilets are counted in both areas. Sometimes, it can happen due to inconsistencies in the data - if you think this is the case, please contact us.
4. How can I use the Toilet Map with my Global Positioning System (GPS) device?
Downloading toilet information to your GPS device
On the toilets details page simply click on the "my GPS" button and select a format to download the toilet location. If the brand of your GPS device is not listed try using "GPX", as most GPS software will recognise this format.
On your "My Toilets" page, you can download your favourite toilets for use on your GPS device (see GPS Downloads in the right hand column).
You can choose to separately download "My Toilets" or "My Trips", as well as selecting the format of the data. If the brand of your GPS device is not listed try using "GPX".
Refer to the manual that came with your GPS for further information, or visit http://www.topografix.com/gpx.asp.
Which device is right for me?
Most manufactures of GPS devices or software have their own format for uploading locations. If the manufacturer of your device is not listed, we suggest that you choose GPX, as this format is widely supported. See http://www.topografix.com/gpx.asp for more information about GPX.
5. Who do I contact if I have a problem with a toilet?
We suggest you contact the provider listed on the toilet details page - they are responsible for managing and maintaining the public toilet facility.
If the information on the site is incorrect - for example, a toilet is not listed, or has features that are not listed - please contact us.
6. How does finding a toilet open at a particular time work?
When you find nearby toilets open at a particular time (by clicking the More options button on the Find nearby toilets page), the site considers:
- Which state the location is in
- When sunrise and sunset occur for the location
- Local time at the location, based on state/territory time zones
The toilets found are:
- Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week OR
- Open sunrise to sunset (and it is daylight at the location at the time specified) OR
- Open at the time specified*, on that day of the week, in that month
Toilets that are have variable or irregular opening hours (eg sporting facilities) are not included.
* Note that a small number of toilets may be excluded, including toilets only open in the early morning.
7. What is an MLAK key?
MLAK stands for Master Locksmiths' Association Key.
The MLAK is a master key that fits into specially designed locks allowing 24 hour a day access to public toilets. Eligible people - those with a disability and a letter of authorisation from a doctor, disability organisation, local council or community health centre - can purchase a key that opens all accessible toilets displaying the MLAK symbol.
For information about where to obtain keys or locks within your area, contact the Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia (phone 1800 810 698).
8. Why do opening hours for toilets vary during the year?
There are three main reasons:
- Daylight savings - during summer toilets are often open for longer hours
- Wet season - during the wet, many toilets in the Northern Territory are inaccessible
- Access - some facilities are only available during peak periods and are closed for the rest of the year
Some public toilets are also closed on public holidays, including:
- Christmas Day
- Good Friday and Easter Sunday
- Local Show Days
- State-specific public holidays
- Days of total fire ban
If you are unsure whether a toilet is open on a particular day, we suggest you contact the provider listed on the toilet details page.
9. Can I get a printed copy of the Toilet Map information?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to release hard copies of the Toilet Map information to the general public. The main reason is that the toilet information is updated on a regular basis and so a hard copy of toilet information would quickly become out of date. However, feel free to print out toilet information from your browser to take with you on your travels.
10. Is there any way to search for features such as showers or baby change facilities?
When you find toilets near an address, at a point of interest or at a latitude/longitude you can select additional toilet features and opening hours in the right hand column of the page.
There are a number of different features listed on the National Public Toilet Map, including baby change facilities, sharps disposal, MLAK access and accessible parking.
11. Is there any way to directly link to the toilets contained within The National Public Toilet Map?
Direct Linking functionality was created to allow external web sites to link to toilets contained within The National Public Toilet Map.
Hard linking to toilets within The National Public Toilet Map is discouraged as the method they are retrieved may change at a later date. For this reason, we recommend the use of the direct linking that allows searching for toilets within a state and locality.
For further information (pdf).
© Commonwealth of Australia 2001 - 2013